Thursday, August 24, 2006

Grouper bought by Sony for $65 mm

The video sharing site seems to have been bought more for its editing tools than traffic. Here's some good commentary:

from TechCrunch

From the New York Times

General consensus seems to be that this does not provide a useful benchmark for valuing other startups in the video sharing space....

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Blogging for Dollars

Some anecdotes recently on what some of the more successful bloggers are making... there seem to be 3 main sources of income. The obvious one, advertising, seems to be the default for everyone and Google Adwords must be so proud. Blogs are targetted, true, but this does not make the dollars any bigger for the vast majority of small time blogs.

The second, commissions, I've heard from many sources informally - usually Amazon Associates program commissions from bloggers with a niche following (i.e. bird photographers) or gadget or merch related sites that make bigger money off of the gadget sales commissions. (Cell phone reviewers, etc.)

Lastly, the true personalities and blogger-tantes who have made a name for themselves seem to be able to do a lot of event based sponsorship - similar to PaidContent's mixers or this little gem from Business 2.0 about the TechCrunch founder:

Michael Arrington is a partying kind of guy. While showing off his home in Atherton, Calif., he boasts about how he crammed 500 people into his one-acre backyard at a bash in February. Then there are the official parties, like the one he threw last Friday at August Capital, a nearby venture firm. Weeks ago, Arrington posted an open invitation on his website at 3 a.m. By sunrise, all 500 spots were taken; the onslaught of traffic crashed his site.

Arrington, a 36-year-old entrepreneur behind a long list of unrecognizable startups, has suddenly become one of the rising stars of Silicon Valley. Why? The answer lies in TechCrunch, Arrington's blog about new technologies and companies. In the year since he launched the site, he's become a go-to person for VCs and tech execs looking to leak corporate tidbits or announce news. More than 1.5 million readers regularly check out his site.

Michael Arrington's TechCrunch has seen a 10-fold rise in revenue since the start of this year.

But here's what gives Arrington real distinction: He's pulling in $60,000 in ad revenue every month. That's 10 times what the site was making earlier this year, which was when Arrington, convinced of the potentially monstrous riches ahead, quit his day job as president of a startup to blog full-time.


- more from Business 2.0

The interesting thing is he makes $60,000 a month from ads but made $50,000 from one night's event. The real world is more lucrative, it seems.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

WOW! This is what my Business is Doing

You guys, this is my last post, but how ironic that on the last day of class i find an article on what AzadiEntertainment is virtually aiming to become. TNt launched their library of works online through an ad supported model. Check it out!!1
See you next semester !!


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Bomb Threat Posed by Pants, Belts

This article describes the ways of smuggling bombs by terrorists onto aeroplanes. There is still little technology to prevent terrorists from smuggling plastic or liquid explosives.
Nowadays,
"there are more than 100 types of explosives"
said James O'Bryon, an aviation security consultant.
The reason why it is easy to bring the explosives onto planes is because metal detectors are designed to detect weapons, not explosives. Another problem is that security can't use X-ray detectors because radiation is unhealthy for people.
Recently, terrorists have planned to use a combination of acetone and hydrogen peroxide to create a high explosive.
"The chemicals could be mixed on board (...) and then detonated using a spark generated by a battery-powered device like iPod or cell phone (...). Or the ingredients might have blown up when mixed without an electric detonator."

The similar situation is with plastic, that could look like, for example, sandwich to a screener.
"At some airports, passengers must pass through "trace portal" chambers where puffs of air knock off molecules that are instantly tested for telltale particles left over from bomb-making."

If such a machine is not programmed to detect specific materials, then it misses it.
...and there are only six machines in U.S. airports.
"Ideally, new technology would analyze baggage in several different ways at once, looking at everything from density and chemical makeup to atomic number analysis"

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Whose Video Is It, Anyway?

YouTube was sued on July 14th for copyright infringement, which opened many issues about members uploading videos with little oversight. YouTube is by far the most popular video sharing site with more than 100 million daily videos available, allowing the small independents to gain exposure.

The lawsuit was brought about by Robert Tur, an independent photographer famous for filming the 1992 Los Angeles riots; the issue was that his videos of the riots and other events were uploaded onto YouTube without his permission. This is going to be an ongoing issue with YouTube and other video publishing sites in that there are no guidelines whatsoever about the criteria for video uploading.

Since YouTube has such a high distribution rate, there is currently a controversy about the fact that YouTube doesn’t share ad dollars with the creators of their content (i.e. the general public), as does competing sites such as Revver.

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/
jul2006/tc20060726_601698.htm?chan=top%20news_top%20news

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Valley Boys: Digg.com's Kevin Rose leads a new brat pack of young entrepreneurs.

Digg is a news website with an emphasis on technology and science articles. News stories and websites are submitted by users, and then promoted to the front page through a user-based ranking system.

After Digg’s recent launch, it soon became one of the most popular sites on the web, ranking in at 24 (beating the NY Times) the rumor is that Digg is now worth $200 million. Digg’s founder, Kevin Rose is said to be the new, hip star of the young entrepreneur crowd. Since Digg is such a great idea for a web 2.0 business, many other e-commerce companies, such as Yahoo! are becoming worried that Digg has become such a huge success and will continue to grow and consume much of the online audience. For example, there was a rumor that Yahoo! is going to offer Digg $40 million for the newly formed company.

Although, as of now, Kevin Rose is in no position to sell the company, he is even publicizing that there will be new and exciting new features to the site.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_33/b3997001.htm

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Colleges Brace for Malware Wave


"Every year a quarter of the students are moving on, so those e-mail addresses are no longer valid," explained Andres Kohn, vice president for product management for Proofpoint. "That huge churn creates a lot of garbage aimed at invalid addresses, which is why universities usually have a higher percentage of spam than most other organizations."
Colleges and universities have some unique security problems facing their networks: a transient population, email churn, uniformity, centralized control, and P2P sharing.
The transient population of kids returning back to school in the fall have had their laptops everywhere with them, and they also come infected with many viruses. Many schools have started to track down who's infeted, what they're infected with, and then cleaning them up.
Another challege is the churn in email addresses in a given year. Students graduating still have email addresses, but they are no longer valid. Invalid addresses at universities explains why they are prone to receive more spam than other organizations.
Schools also find it hard to impose a uniform system of rules on their networks in order to improve security measures. They say with so many different users, the students, the faculty, and the staff, it's hard to have a flexible system to cater to their needs.
Some schools have implemeted a centralized control that stops a computer from doing anything until logged on to the network server. An agent is then placed on the computer that checks the machine for several things like does the computer have an antivirus program installed.
As far as P2P sharing, keeping on top of what noxious computer offerings incoming freshman bring with them is a challenging task as well.
The reality is that these problems also exist outside of school stteings, and those with their own computers need to take a proactive stance in ensuring their machines' safety personally. These measures will help with transporting the computer to be used on any networking system.
http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/52282.html

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Sprint to Invest $3 Billion in WiMax Network

Sprint plans to invest $1 billion in 2007 and between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in 2008 to build out a fourth generation wireless network based on the WiMax wireless broadband standard. It will work with Intel to build chipsets, and Motorola and Samsung to provide the handsets in order to create the infrastructure needed to operate the network. The handheld chipsets to operate on the network will be capable of delivering streaming video, faster download data, and other services. Competitors in the mobile industry are still trying to figure out how to integrate 3G or third generation networks and services. Sprint intends to use a 'unique business model' to foster adoption of WiMax. Its investments will create a network that will be available at a cost similar to 3G networks, but will operate at a much higher speed.
Sprint Nextel is taking "a major step forward" by linking the Internet and mobile communications, according to CEO Gary Forsee. "We'll give customers the power to harness business information and personal entertainment easily and inexpensively -- and in ways that they will one day wonder how they lived without."

Competitors speculate that Sprints fourth generation WiMax investment will not be an improvement for broadband mobile networking, but will function as a parallel service that will be hard for consumers to determine any significant differences in service and product offerings.
http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/qVWL00GgUlaNRq/Sprint-to-Invest-3-Billion-in-WiMax-Network.xhtml

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Making PC-to-iPod Connection a Two-Way Street

The most direct way to transfer songs off your iPod to a PC is to simply plug the gadget into the PC and view its contents in Windows Explorer. All your music will appear and can be imported to iTunes, but here's the catch: The names of all your songs will be gibberish. That's where a program like CopyPod comes in. Once songs are on the iPod, Apple wants to keep them there so you can't copy them to a friends computer. The most recent iPod software stores the song separately from the song titles. Renaming hundreds or even thousands of songs just isn't practical. This approach satisfies the music industry, which says it has the right to control what consumers do wit copyrighted music, even if they have paid for it. CopyPod is a program that will automatically copy your iPod songs, along with the original titles, back into the iTunes software on any PC. You paid for it, now be able to back them up on your computer, or lose the tunes when your iPod inevitably crashes.
http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/sPtwvZwBsMGmPu/Making-PC-to-iPod-Connection-a-Two-Way-Street.xhtml

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Voice Adds To IM's Allure

Enterprises are finding that more choices are available for internal IM/VoIP systems. Many network equipment vendors have expanded their unified communications systems, which typically integrate voice and data functions in applications like conferencing, so they include IM functionality.
This improves employee productivity by determining where an employee, supplier, or customer is at any time, and capabilities to communicate with them instantly. Nucleus Research found that only eighteen percent of companies actually use internal messaging. Enterprises and corporations can use IM that allows employees to rapidly build teams and identify experts and resources in order to keep better pace with competitors.
Once vendors couple their IM systems with VoIP capabilities, users have integrated communication exchanges. Vendors must address the following limitations before a successful implementation is possible: 1) companies have used IM for mostly internal communications and not for external communications, 2) For companies that enforce a 'no personal emails or phone calls' policy, IM may not be a good fit, and 3) depending on company hierarchy and whether email communication flows from bottom up and top down, IM may or may not be a good fit. From the perspective of the customer or client, it seems that if companies integrate their systems with IM/VoIP capabilities, customer service would improve customer loyalty, and we all benefit from the open communication system.
http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/pq5OZ3dsJu8psM/Voice-Adds-to-IMs-Allure.xhtml

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Changing Domain Name Landscape-Part 2

The first article in this series talked about the acquisition of BulkRegister by eNom, and how it would change the marketplace for domain name registration. BulkRegister was able to beat out competition in early 2000 by under cutting prices, but as of recently they have lost that competitive advantage by being unable to respond wit new feature offerings. Clients who do not want their domain name used for commercial purposes ma find that BulkRegister has commercialism their domain names by running ads. The company also had poor customer service by shunning voice contact to resolve problems. When compared to competitor GoDaddy, BulkRegister can not compete with their customer service offerings that are based in the US.
This article goes on to discuss other shortcomings of BulkRegister such as, the rise of the secondary market for reselling domain names, and the fact that the company does not participate in revenue sharing with ad revenues being shared by the placeholder page operator with the domain name owner. I believe that by correcting these two problems, and redoing their customer service model from email to voice communications will create a loyal customer and help BulkRegister become a competitive force with the likes of GoDaddy.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/EIGWO6FIdW6ZyX/The-Changing-Domain-Name-Landscape-Part2

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Another iPod Killer? Nokia Buys Loudeye in $60 million Deal

Loudeye operates 60 music services around the world, handling rights management and content for 1.6million songs from major labels. Nokia benefits from the acquisition by being able to offer “a comprehensive mobile music experience, including devices, applications and the ability to purchase digital music.” They are banking on mobile smartphones as being the all-in-one device of choice for consumers. Nokia also plans to offer music for sale over the airwaves through direct download or by using a PC to download songs and then load them onto the phone. It seems to me that if Nokia is trying to position itself as a major competitor or even completely eliminating iPods hold on the music download industry by creating a phone, that once Apple creates an iPod phone, which I’m sure is in the pipeline, Nokia will realize they’re out of their league. Nokia’s competitive edge is that they are already a phone and service provider, so if they can deliver the perfect phone with the capabilities to download and store music, maybe they won’t regret their purchase, but the focus should be the device and its capabilities not the services.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/PPPExUfkB3IvUr/Another-iPod-Killer-Nokia-Buys-Loudkey-in-$60-Million-Deal

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Google Scores $900 Million Deal With MySpace

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch sold the social networking giant MySpace.com and his other web properties to Google for $900 dollars to be paid by 2010. Google will thus be the sole search provider. MySpace currently ranks as the world’s sixth most visited site with the highest internet growth rate. What Google gets out of the deal is the right to de;iver search results and ads to the MySpace network. MySpace is purely a user information generated site, with those users constantly creating new pages of text, photos, videos, and other media every day. The question is whether Google will be able to keep MySpace as the premier destination for social networking sites, and create a profitable business model as other have yet to do. Google entered a bidding war with Microsoft and Yahoo for the social networking crowned jewel, with representatives from those companies circulating speculation that they were intentionally trying to increase the bid that Google was willing to make. Microsoft has already mentioned their intentions to launch a competitor to MySpace. For the target demographic and user of the MySpace site, their time and attention is highly sought after, but harder for advertisers to reach, and because social networking is relatively new, the deciding factor on how successful a company will be in the industry seems to be product/service differentiation.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/hyU1DbO8HQEDFR/Google-Scores-$900 Million-Deal-With-MySpace

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AOL APOLOGIZES FOR POSTING USER SEARCH DATA

658,000 users of the proprietary software got an apology from AOL after the company admitted they posted internet search data. AOL claimed that the information was only used for academic research, and that the user names were not connected.
On the contrary, bloggers who found the information on AOL’s website protested saying that it was not that hard to figure out someone’s identity, forcing AOL to make a public apology. The information is still public though, and AOL may face legal ramifications if found that there was a violation in the privacy statement.
Is anything in this day and age private? I mean, why even have a privacy policy if it’s created with loop holes to be easily maneuverable by the creators? AOL/Time Warner control the world, and it’s obvious that they will circumvent the law, and will be back to business as usual. If anyone using the net or any form of communication outside of face-to-face human interaction actually believes that they are doing so in public is a fool. Our society has gotten further and further away from basic human interaction that most have unconsciously forfitted their right to privacy by using such products as AOL.
http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/hLnuBTM2P7JszV/AOL-Apologizes-for-Posting-User-Search-Data

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Google Goes Sole Searching with Myspace, Fox

Google has announced a deal with Myspace, owned by News Corp (Fox) to become the exclusive search and keyword advertising sales provider for the mere price tag of $900 million. This deal is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2006, ending in the second quarter of 2010.

“Google, which competes with Microsoft and Yahoo in the lucrative business for online search, will use its AdSense program to drive text-based advertising and keyword-targeted ads for Fox Interactive Media's network.”

What poses as news worthy is the fact that Google will also have the right of first refusal on display advertising sold through 3rd parties on Fox interactive media networks. This is a significant amount of power for Google, which hopes to influence Myspace’s millions of users to sell more ads.

“Google will make a guaranteed minimum revenue share payments to Fox Interactive Media of $900 million based on Fox achieving certain traffic and other commitments.”

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Google to distribute MTV clips with ads

Well now it will be even easier to watch crappy television thanks to Google and MTV. Online advertising through video is becoming big business and creating a new form of revenue model for content creators. The MTV clips will be free to view on Google video, but will have ads imedded in them. Viacom, who owns MTV, is also putting 17 shows on Google video for $1.99 an episode. In the future, I see more people watching video on the Web as their main source of video entertainment.

"Video has become one of the fastest-growing formats online as new
delivery mechanisms, faster computers and wider broadband adoption make the
medium more accessible to a broader audience."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14227023/


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Google to distribute MTV clips with ads

Well now it will be even easier to watch crappy television thanks to Google and MTV. Online advertising through video is becoming big business and creating a new form of revenue model for content creators. The MTV clips will be free to view on Google video, but will have ads imedded in them. Viacom, who owns MTV, is also putting 17 shows on Google video for $1.99 an episode. In the future, I see more people watching video on the Web as their main source of video entertainment.

"Video has become one of the fastest-growing formats online as new
delivery mechanisms, faster computers and wider broadband adoption make the
medium more accessible to a broader audience."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14227023/


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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Heavy Internet users shouldn’t be considered anti-social

So apparently people that surf the Internet for hours upon hours on end aren't hermits at all. According to this article, they should be classified as 'differently social'. That's a relief. Also, the study says that these 'different' ones actually have real human friends, but the article says, they don't have to spend much time with them in-person to enjoy them. An interesting part of this article explains that these 'differently social' people tend to spend just as much time on the Internet as they do on the phone, and that they spend more time on the phone than even people that spend significantly less time on the Internet. These people must all live in caves on Staten Island or something, and they've got to be really pale from not going to interact with the real world.

"Overall, the findings indicate heavy users spend less time with friends and
family, doing paid work, doing domestic work, playing sports, going to movies,
sleeping, relaxing and even thinking."
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=a2371f59-0fa6-4e60-a9c2-e7273d4975b1&k=41449

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

EMI Licenses Catalog to P2P Network Mashboxx

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/DhmcQLx9WSWeAT/EMI-Licenses-Catalog-to-P2P-Network-Mashboxx.xhtml

Major music label EMI has announced that it will license its entire catalog via per-to-per through the network Mashboxx. Founded by former Grockster CEO Wayne Rosso, Mashboxx has yet to go live. It’s one of the first P2P firms to be built from the ground up as a legitimate music delivery network. This partnership is the latest attempt by the music industry to harness the power of P2P networks; which is ironic because it was the music industry’s biggest enemy for years. P2P helped set the widespread fire of unauthorized downloads, crutching the industry by its heels. Pairing with the enemy might open a new realm to the music industry’s dim future, perhaps building a successful relationship rather then failure and constant struggle.

“Legal peer-to-peer services which offer consumers a great user experience and which compensate creators appropriately are good for music fans, good for artists, and good for the
digital music market as a whole," said EMI Music North America CEO David Munns. "When it rolls out, Mashboxx will be a no-obligation way for fans to really immerse themselves in discovering music".

“Existing P2P networks bring their user bases to the table and Mashboxx hopes to tap into that asset by creating something of a legitimate gateway to EMI music that could -- theoretically, at least be accessed from other P2P locales”.

The transition from underground technology to legitimate music download platform will not be east for P2P to take. Converting free users to paid users will be tough.

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More on Click-Fraud

Sorry for another Internet advertising post...I love this stuff, and I figure it will one day apply to my business...

Anyway, Google just settled a $90 million click-fraud lawsuit with a group of businesses that were advertising through Google's AdWords. Critics are saying that the $90 million is a slap on the wrist for Google, and will not encourage Google to be more vigilant with click-fraud.

Judge OK's Google Click-Fraud Settlement

Click fraud, as you may know, is when someone clicks on a CPC ad with malicious intent. In some instances, a competing business owner will click on the ads of their competitor so that their competitor has to pay the cost of the click. Some say that 20% of all clicks are fradulent.


n this week's hearing, the judge heard objections from plaintiffs who complained that the settlement amount was too small, that too much money will go to attorneys and that the agreement puts too much of a burden on affected advertisers to prove click fraud.



It does seem rather harsh that the judge expects advertisers to prove that click fraud is occurring. This really does seem like Google is getting off easy. However, another lawsuit is mounting by another group of advertisers, and this time it looks like they will be seeking greater damages.

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Auto Advertising

Here's another interesting article I read about auto advertising...

Note to Auto Makers: Aim Higher in the Funnel

So the big boys in the online auto information world are Edmunds.com, Cars.com and KellyBlueBook.com. I have used all three of these sites myself over the years.

However, market research is starting to show that by the time most people wind up going to these sites that they have already decided on a narrow range of what cars they are looking to buy/sell.

Therefore, marketers are suggesting that auto manufacturers like Toyota, Ford, and the like should spend less of their web marketing budget advertising on those three auto information sites.

A recent survey sought to find the online surfing habits of car buyers. It was found that pick-up truck owners tended to visit sites like Nascar.com and home improvement sites. Sports car drivers often visit travel sites. Soccer moms like looking at online game sites. And luxury car drivers often visit itunes.com


Online marketers are therefore suggesting that automakers may want to direct their advertising budgets to these periphreal sites instead of on sites like Edmunds.com, Cars.com, etc.

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Pop-Up Ads

Hello!

First off, I would like to suggest the website www.YouSendIt.com to anyone who has to send a large file to someone over the Internet. The site is great and allows you to upload files up to 1GB, then it sends someone a link and allows that person to download the file for themselves. It works great (I just had my friend send me a 290 Mb Quicktime file).

Either case, I was just poking around the site trying to learn a bit more about the company and happened to click on the "Advertise with Us" button. It took me to a company called AdBrite, which I guess is handling their intersitial ads (pop-up ads).

Click HERE to check it out...

AdBrite is kind of funky..it sells advertising on various sites, and let's you do it like you were using the Shopping Cart feature at Amazon or something. Furthermore, AdBrite displays demographic information such as the average age, sex, income, etc. of YouSendIt's users.

At the end, AdBrite even gives suggestions of other sites people might want to advertise if they were advertising with YouSendIt.

AdBrite also does standard CPC ads for YouSendIt.

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting for you guys to see internet advertising done in such a retail manner...

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